Tuesday, June 26, 2018


I’m sure many can relate to the level of excitement I experience while waiting for a pair of boots to arrive. Anticipation builds With each passing day. Online tracking refreshed two or three ... or fifty-seven times before finally receiving the alert of its arrival.


There’s one problem. It’s 9:00 a.m. on a work day with three meetings, two personnel formations, and a killer WOD at CrossFit Roux standing in my way of  those incredible looking Standard & Strange “Black Cat” boots.

Home by 7:00 p.m.,  I’m beaten and exhausted by the day’s events. I’d forgotten about the package from Oakland, California, but after a quick meal I’m completely reinvigorated and excited to tear into the box.

From the moment I unbox the S&S x John Lofgren & Co. collaboration M-43 Service Shoe  made with  black Japanese roughout steerhide, I know they’re something really special.

I typically don all my new boots almost immediately and begin to wear them like they owe me money. But not these. Somethin’ about these boots that make me want to baby them. Having owned several of his boots over the years, I’m well-versed on how well they can take a beating without showing any indication of structural compromise as well as how beautifully they age. So what is it that’s preventing me from taking them on a ten-mile hike thought the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and wading through the swamp? They look incredible. They feel like a million bucks, have the reputation of extremely well made boots and Jillian absolutely adores them. 

I’ll continue to baby them for now and enjoy the fit and feel, but when I move to the California desert next month all bets are off. I look forward to taking these off-road through Joshua Tree as well as on base in Twentynine Palms then brushing them off for a night on the town in Palm Springs.

Attractive, versatile, rugged, this is an investment I’d recommend to all boot collectors.

I’ve had the Black Cat Boots now for about a month and a half and they’ve been on regular rotation amongst my other favorite boots with several miles under the hood. I have to hand it to John Lofgren for going the Vibram route for all his boots. While most companies use reproduction soles that I find to wear out faster than their expected shelf life, John chose the soles with a proven track record of over eighty years. Don’t expect to have to resole his boots under normal wear or at least once with moderate to heavy wear.

One look at these boots and it’s explicitly clear they are the high-quality John Lofgren boots I’ve known for years. Thanks to Neil and Jeremy for bringing these bad ass boots to the masses.

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